By COLIN GAISER The Daily Inter Lake
Glacier bounced back from a tough first quarter to cruise by Polson 58-39 in nonconference boys basketball action on Thursday night at Glacier High School.
The Pirates (5-6 overall) had the hot hand early, making clever passes and finding easy looks in the paint to build a 16-11 lead. Six Polson players scored in the first quarter.
“We came off a very emotional game last week [against Flathead]. The gym was loud and this time it was a little quieter, and I don’t know that we came out with as much energy,” Glacier coach Mark Harkins said.
“To Polson’s credit they did, and they kind of punched us in the mouth.”
But the Wolfpack (4-4) took control of the game in the second quarter, tightening up its defense and forcing Polson into long jump shots that would not fall. Glacier outscored the Pirates 15-3 in the quarter, with Polson’s only field goal coming on Ryker Wenderoth’s steal and breakaway layup with less than 30 seconds to go in the half.
Glacier answered with KJ Johnson’s floater at the buzzer to make it 28-19 at the break.
Harkins said the only thing his team changed on defense was to pick up its intensity.
“We were kind of just going through the motions,” he said, “and I thought in the second quarter their communication got better.”
The Wolfpack picked up where it left off in the second half, going on a 10-1 run to take an 18-point lead. Polson countered with a 7-0 run to trim the deficit to 11 but could get no closer as Glacier rolled to its third consecutive win.
Meanwhile, Glacier was in control of the paint on both sides of the ball, led by captain Drew Engellant and Weston Price. Engellant had a team-high 13 points and Price added 10.
Price took the place of injured starter Ethan Baines, who did not suit up for the game.
“Weston … responded well. He’s a nice young player, he’s got a great offensive skill set, and I was really proud of how he stepped up and handled that starting role,” Harkins said.
Co-captain Bret Michaels added 10 points for Glacier.
“Our two captains had a real solid, steady game tonight. Nothing spectacular, but they did the right things, got people the basketball,” Harkins said.
Wenderoth and Robin Erickson both led the Pirates with 8 points, and Colton Graham and Micah Askan each added 7.
Polson did not help itself at the free-throw line, going 7 of 17, while Glacier went 8 of 10.
Next up for the Wolfpack are two road Western AA games, at Helena Capital next Friday night and Helena High the following afternoon. The Pirates visit Whitefish tonight in a Northwest A clash.
Polson 16 3 11 9 — 39
Glacier 13 15 18 12 — 58
POLSON – Keyan Dalbey 3, Ryker Wenderoth 8, Robin Erickson 8, Trevor Schultz 4, Colton Graham 7, Kordell Walker 2, Micah Askan 7.
GLACIER – Drew Deck 2, KJ Johnson 8, Weston Price 10, Drew Engellant 13, Michael Schwarz 9, Bret Michaels 10, Ben Desmul 6.